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Aug 12, 2005, 03:18 PM
Thread OP

Problems with PH 85 HV and CC


I'm starting this thread because I've had a very frustrating experience with Castle Creations and I'm pissed at the entire situation.

3 weeks ago I purchased a new lnog awaited PH HV 85 from NESAIL who was right on time and shipped as promised.

I immediately hooked it up to my computer, installed the latest software and set it up according to my needs.

I then installed it on my Joker heli and it self destructed on the first attempt to start it up. All it did was buzz the motor and shut down permanently.

I called and talked to a tech named Joe, who told me that I had probably gotten one of the beta units and it needed some hardware replacement. At first he offered to send another new unit along with a stamped self addressed return envelope. Instead after realizing that you had no more HV 85s to send he suggested I return it and he would turn it right around "repair it", "test it" and ship it back.

Two weeks later, the invoice that was returned with it said you replaced 2 FETs.

After several attempts to get it working I'm sitting here with it in exactly the same condition as when I sent it in for repair.

It's probably got some more smoked FETs because the causal problem was ignored.

What really pisses me off is that it was according to Joe, supposed to be tested. It obviously was not. It would not reliably start any motors that it was tested with on a bench stand.

I thought I was already getting less than what I had purchased by settling for repairs on a brand new ESC.

It's apparent that this problem is not an isolated one and should have been resolved during the R&D period instead of shipping units that had this problem out with production ESCs.

I would have preferred to wait instead of receiving hardware with known issues and paying dearly for the privilege of doing your beta testing.

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Aug 12, 2005, 03:56 PM
A man with too many toys
Al, I had exactly the same problem as you but my HV-85 was a new one direct from CC (manufactured in mid July). I am beginning to wonder if they have the capability to properly test these new high voltage ESCís.

Have you called Joe back to see what he has to say? Please post his comments as I currently have a HV-85 that I specifically sent to him for repair.

Aug 12, 2005, 04:32 PM
Thread OP
Honestly I haven't called him yet RC,

I don't know what he could even say. They don't have any new units to send and I'm reluctant to give them a second chance on this one. I paid for a new functioning unit and this is turning into a bad joke having to ship it back and forth and hurry up and wait.

I know that at least 2 of the PH 85 HV beta test units smoked immediately.

At this point I wouldn't feel comfortable with this ESC I have period. Knowing that there have been persistent problems with the 85 I'd rather wait a bit and let them get their act together with it. We're not the only ones who have had problems with them.

I'll think about it this weekend while I'm FLYING my Schulze.

Aug 12, 2005, 07:01 PM
X-Era Motors
DavidB.'s Avatar
I have a 110 with about 25 flights on it with no problems. Also had an 85 that worked fine, and then I knocked the heatsink off and damaged a FET (my fault). I also don't think any problem with the design would affect only the HV-85, since the single difference between the 45, 85, and 110 appears to be the number of power boards. It could be that Vishay/Siliconix is having problems with quality control on their FET's. The one downside I noticed is that the heatshrink rips off very easily since it is cut (to expose the heatsink to airflow). That's a small price to pay for a controller that provides updates via my PC, and don't forget the amazing service CC is known for.

David B...and my 2c
Aug 12, 2005, 08:31 PM
Thread OP
Originally Posted by DavidB.
don't forget the amazing service CC is known for.

David B...and my 2c

That's what I'm upset with David

Al ....and my $200
Aug 14, 2005, 01:20 PM
Registered User
Jim Phelps's Avatar
I have an 85 that I just installed last night and it worked just fine. Today when I tried it, it will not arm and the LED is lit all of the time. I've tried updating and changing the program and nothing works.

I really needed this for an E-fly next weekend but from what I've been reading it doesn't sound good.

Jim Phelps
Aug 14, 2005, 04:47 PM
A man with too many toys
Thatís exactly the failure mode of my first HV-85 a couple of months ago. I sent it in and they said that was a manufacturing defect (short circuit) on one of the boards. They successfully repaired it and I just flew the 17th successful flight today. So they are able to fix them sometimes Ė the frustrating part is that they donít have a 100% success rate.

I should get my other HV-85 back in a few days. This is the one that will run on low voltage but not high voltage. I will let everyone know how it.

Aug 14, 2005, 05:19 PM
Thread OP
I emailed them and said I wouldn't consider another repair attempt myself.

Also the problem is probably not limited to 85s like David said above.

If the only difference is the quantity of FETs then all could be at risk.

I read another post where someone had to send all of his HVs in for repair work.

There is obviously a defect getting through in a substantial quantity of ESCs.

This should have been dealt with during R&D.

Last edited by Albig; Aug 14, 2005 at 05:24 PM.
Aug 15, 2005, 07:25 AM
A man with too many toys
Do all the HV ESCs use the same FETs?

Aug 15, 2005, 09:07 AM
Thread OP
Probably RC,

They're rated by voltage and current in and out.

So they are likely the same FETS at around 50V and the quantity is increased to raise the current capacity.

Whether the proccessor board is exactly the same would another matter.

While it appears visually so. It's likely to have different programming at least between the different models.

I have personally gotten 2 different stories from CC. One stating a problem with the processor board and when I got my "repaired & tested" 85 back it was with an invoice stating that it had 2 replaced FETs.

It's not clear whether the board caused the FETs to smoke or if they're deffective in their own right.

Aug 15, 2005, 04:02 PM
Registered User
Jim Phelps's Avatar
I talked to someone today about mine and he said it was a resistor that was out of range and it wiped out the processor board. The guy was very nice and said they might have one available to ship this week. I hope he was telling me the truth.

Aug 15, 2005, 04:41 PM
Thread OP
That's just what they told me about the resistor Jim.

I think they just flat out screwed up with mine when I sent it back.

Joe was very nice to me when I called he said exactly the same thing and said he could fix it quickly and send right it back. It took 13 days turnaround with shipping priority mail both ways. They paid the return trip.

I don't know how it went from a resistor on the proccessor board to a couple of FETs unless things got mixed up there at Castle.

We'll see about the "this week". They can be a little optimistic about delivery dates.

Aug 15, 2005, 05:27 PM
Castle's Chaos Corner
Bernie Wolfard's Avatar

Sorry about the problems you have had with you HV-85. The problem with the original HVS was a resistor that was out of value on one of the pins on the micro processor that could wipe out the programing in processor. This wasn't caught in testing because it doesn't happen right away.

A FET blowing is something else. Contact me directly and I will get it take care of for you. One of our problems with HV controllers is we underestimated the demand and they take a long time to build. That said, we will make every effort to make sure you have a working HV-85 as quickly as possible.

Aug 15, 2005, 07:18 PM
Thread OP
Thanks Bernie,

I returned your email.

There is nothing more I'd like than to put that neat CC decal on the side of my Helis.

I really want this to be a great ESC probably as much as you guys

Aug 16, 2005, 08:30 AM
Just wanted to add my experience with my P85HV to this thread:

I bought one of the early units from NESail, but due to other parts I was needing and lack of free time, I have not had a chance to get my Bionic into the air with the new ESC. After reading some of the other threads here, and figuring that I probably had been sold on of the beta units -- I decided to get my ESC 'upgraded' to the release version before attempting to fly with it.

Joe at CC was very responsive to my e-mails and estimated a turn-around time of about a week in-house so I shipped it off to them. I was pleasantly surpised to get the unit back in about 9 days including shipping both ways. There were also nice enought to package it back up in original packaging -- a nice touch -- before shipping it back to me.

I'm glad I caught the threads posted here on RCGroups before attempting to fly with the beta unit -- I would have hated to have a crash due to ESC failure with a known problem. It would have been nice if CC or NESail had contacted me (and others in the same boat) to let me know that I had been sold the wrong version of the controller by accident. Maybe this is an example of something the new CC mailing list can be used for in the future.

Still waiting on an actual test flight -- just need the right blades for my bird...


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